The Miami Heat organization is entering a new era with the departure of Dwyane Wade. They still have strong pieces with the likes of Goran Dragic, Hassan Whiteside, and others, but there’s definitely a different feel after losing the face of the franchise for the past 13 seasons.
With so many other things to do in Miami, there’s an inherent worry that fans will lose interest if the Heat struggle. Their owner, Micky Arison, isn’t worried about that being the case.
Coinciding with the NBA officially releasing the 2016-17 schedule, Arison published an open letter to Heat fans. He expressed optimism for the upcoming season, but he did acknowledge the hole that will be left by Wade’s absence.
“Obviously, this has been a challenging summer … one with significant change,” Arison wrote. “For the first time in a long time, Dwyane Wade will not be part of our team, but it will be a joyous homecoming when we someday hang his No. 3 jersey from the rafters.”
Arison becomes more philosophical as the letter goes on, discussing the inevitability of change and their need to embrace it:
“And so, as (Heat President) Pat Riley has said on numerous occasions, `One of the only things you can count on in life that is permanent is change,”‘ Arison wrote. “We need to understand and embrace change as part of sports; in fact, as a part of life.”
Shortly after the Heat open the season against the Orlando Magic, they’ll host Wade and the Chicago Bulls on November 10th. The date marks Dwyane’s sole return to South Beach next season.
You can read the entire letter here.